Culture Wars/Current Controversies

REFLECTIONS ON IDENTITY By Alain De Benoist

original Russian translation

https://web.archive.org/web/20171204140555/http://www.nb-info.ru/antipotkin/ident200611.htm

The issue of identity is central to the controversy surrounding immigration. From the outset, two remarks emerge from the discussion of this topic. The first stems from the observation that while much is said about the identity of the indigenous population, there is generally much less about the identity of the immigrants themselves, which, however, is most threatened, even by the very fact of immigration. As a minority, immigrants are under direct pressure from the way of life of the majority. Being obliterated or, on the contrary, inflated in a provocative, even pathological way, their identity is retained only most often in a negative (or reactive) way, due to the indifference or hostility of the environment in the host country, even the capitalist super-exploitation to which workers are exposed, who find themselves defenseless far from their homeland.

On the other hand, it is striking to see how the problem of identity in certain circles is made dependent solely on immigration. The main, if not the only, “threat” to which the national identity of the French is exposed, allegedly comes from immigrants. This does not take into account factors that are everywhere in the world, both in countries where there are many foreign workers and in countries where there are none at all, that cause the erosion of collective identities: the primacy of consumption, the Westernization of mores, the imposition of homogeneity through the mass media, etc.

It is not difficult at all, in this view of things, to make immigrants scapegoats. However, it is not the fault of the immigrants at all if the French seem no longer able to reproduce their own way of life and demonstrate to the world the originality of thinking and being. It is also not the fault of immigrants if social ties are destroyed wherever liberal individualism spreads, if the inculcation of selfishness narrows the public space that could serve as a crucible for the revival of an active civic spirit, and if people living according to the laws of market ideology become more and more alien to themselves. . It is not the fault of the immigrants if the French are becoming less and less a people, if the nation is becoming a ghost, if the economy is globalizing and people no longer want to be creators of their own lives, but accept more and more what what they decide for them, starting with the values ​​and norms in which they do not participate. Finally, it is not immigrants who influence the minds and impose on radio and television sounds, images, interests and models that “arrived from behind a hillock.” If “mondialism” exists, we will say with all clarity until proven otherwise, then it comes from the other side of the Atlantic, and not from the other side of the Mediterranean. And let’s add that a small Arab shopkeeper, by his neighborhood, definitely contributes more to the preservation of a French identity built on genuine French values ​​than an American-style amusement park or “shopping center”. interests and models “arrived from behind the hillock”. If “mondialism” exists, we will say with all clarity until proven otherwise, then it comes from the other side of the Atlantic, and not from the other side of the Mediterranean. And let’s add that a small Arab shopkeeper, by his neighborhood, definitely contributes more to the preservation of a French identity built on genuine French values ​​than an American-style amusement park or “shopping center”. interests and models “arrived from behind the hillock”. If “mondialism” exists, we will say with all clarity until proven otherwise, then it comes from the other side of the Atlantic, and not from the other side of the Mediterranean. And let’s add that a small Arab shopkeeper, by his neighborhood, definitely contributes more to the preservation of a French identity built on genuine French values ​​than an American-style amusement park or “shopping center”.

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